Christopher’s Guide to Being Cool, Part Five: Tattoos

Tattoos are one of the few things which are enduringly cool no matter whatever else is de rigueur, along with black & white photography, being in a band and dying young.

A few years back a cool tattoo would either be a Chinese symbol that supposedly meant “love” or “peace” (although probably actually meant “scrotum”) or some pseudo-Maori tangle of spikes on your upper arm if you’re a guy or in the small of your back if you’re a girl. If you’ve got one of those then you’re shit out of luck because those are just laughable now.

If you go to get a tattoo done in a parlour that still offers those kinds of designs or employs tattooists who aren’t paragons of rockabilly vogue or Frank Carter from Gallows then get out of there quick smart; that place isn’t cool enough for your patronage.

Nowadays, the coolest tattoos involve the timeless chic of good old-fashioned anchors and swallows and/or ‘40s-‘50s pin-up girls. Ok, so their “timeless chic” might be totally passé in a couple of months, leaving you as a walking anachronism, but Sailor Jerry’s bound to come back around. You’ll have to endure a few years in the wilderness but have patience grasshopper: eventually your tattoos will be cool again. And no, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never even set foot on a cross-Channel ferry; nautical-themed tattoos historically denoting thousands of miles of naval experience are fine for sailors and landlubbers alike.

Despite being published way back in 2006, many tattoo artists still consider this the definitive guide to modern tattooing.

Despite being published way back in 2006, many tattoo artists still consider this the definitive guide to modern tattooing.

Besides, if you’re thinking in the long-term (yes, “a couple of months” counts as long-term) then you’re really not that cool: given the frantically hedonistic life you lead, there’s every chance you’ll be dead in a couple of months, a martyr for youthful decadence. Now that IS cool.

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3 responses to “Christopher’s Guide to Being Cool, Part Five: Tattoos

  1. this guide brings me much joy….can you mention fisheye cameras at some point? cool or not cool – enquiring minds wish to know….

  2. If I wasn’t too cool to be pleased or need external validation, i’d be pleased that your article has externally validated my choice of body art.

  3. Chris George!! Was in Camden yesterday, killing time before we went to see Dredg in Islington (was pretty dandy). My mates adored my Dinosaur tshirt (Oi Noah, wait for me) from yourself and we tried looking for you, but you have gone?? Wheres the Chris George gone hmmm?
    x

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